Trip down pub lane
WELL-KNOWN Grafton historian and retired primary school principal Tony Morley decided to take a backward glance at the history of pubs in Grafton.
The result is the recently published book Grafton Pubs and Publicans.
Mr Morley, writer of The Daily Examiner’s popular column Backward Glances, first began working on his book three years ago while compiling the notes of Clarence River Historical Society member Colin Jarvis.
He organised Mr Jarvis’ data and research and soon began to add information of his own.
It was a lengthy undertaking, given that the history of pubs in Grafton has been far from simple.
Mr Morley said that 1878 holds the record for the most pubs in Grafton at the same time.
“39 different pubs existed during the gold rush days, although several only lasted for two to three years.”
He said many of the pubs seemed to have met the same untimely demise, having mysteriously burned to the ground.
“Once they lost their licence, they seemed to become very flammable,” he joked.
Readers can delve into the rich history of Grafton’s pubs by buying a copy of Mr Morley’s book at Angus and Robertson, the Book Warehouse, Color Perfect and the Clarence River Tourist Information Centre.